Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let the Smack Talk Begin

Based on the San Francisco Giants championship run last season, it is recognized by many prognosticators that the 2013 Dodger team will enter the coming season as an underdog in the N.L. West.   With a record high payroll in the neighborhood of $220 million, the Dodgers seem to have shored up a number of weaknesses that last years club had.  Incredibly, there are still holes to fill.

Here where I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, Giant fans are already coming out of the woodwork with criticisms of the Dodger organization.  I’ve heard it all.  From “they are wasting their money on mediocre talent” to “It isn’t fair that they are allowed to spend millions in an unfair playing field.”

Deep down though, Giant fans are already preparing the whining as I’ve heard it already.  If the Dodgers were to win it all and in grand fashion, Giant fans will never give the organization credit because they will have “bought” a championship.  If the Dodgers fall short, then they’ll laugh in our faces with glee.  When I say fall short, anything less than winning a World Series will be falling short in their eyes, because they have 2 World Series wins out of three years.  Bragging rights have been established.  A Dodger team will need to win a few championships in a row to destroy the aura created by the Giants the last few years.

Giant fans during 2012 World Series (AP Photo)

So at a time when Giants fans were reveling in their success and celebrating at the height of their happiness with talk shows, awards and parades, Bill Plaschke wrote a post World Series piece in which he conceded that the Giants had surpassed the Dodgers as the better franchise.   LINKED HERE

The San Francisco Chronicle was quick to publish the article, much to the satisfaction of their readers.  I heard about it at work, in the chair at my dentist’s office, from my Giant fan step-son, from guys on my softball team.   The Giant flagship radio station discussed it for days.  Plaschke’s article was the talk of the town.   Here the Giants were celebrating another championship, and on top of that they got the pleasure of rubbing it in Dodger fans faces, courtesy of an L.A. TImes columnist.

Needless to say, the comments following the piece gave them a head start on their 2013 Dodger bashing.

A guy with an obscene monicker that of course, profaned the Dodgers name, posted the following in the Chronicle:
“Considering how incompetent their front office is at spending the money and handling the farm, one would think it will take quite some time before they make it back.”
Well, let’s pick that apart a bit.  The Dodger farm system in the past ten years has produced current Dodger established players as Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, and AJ Ellis.  Add to that up and comers Shawn Tolleson, Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert, Dee Gordon and Paco Rodriguez.  The Dodger minor league system has successfully developed major league talent and some that has reached All Star levels.   It also produced such Major League talent that came within an eye lash of the World Series in ’08 and ’09 as Russell Martin, Jonathan Broxton, and James Loney.  Though the talent didn’t develop as much as we wanted them to, they still were all major leaguers and 5 of those names were actually All Stars on more than one occasion.  

Giant fans celebrate at WS celebration parade (photo by Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

This from “JoMammy” another SF Chronicle writer.
“Seriously, any impartial observer of MLB would have to say the Dodgers haven't been a leading franchise since the '80s. The Giants, by contrast, were a perennial contender throughout the Bonds era and, after a few years of regrouping, are again an elite team vying for their second world series title in three years. Moreover, the Giants are showing people how it's done in the post steroid, free agent era: you build on pitching, you lock in your home grown talent, and you keep a stable group of coaches, and you can win. The Dodgers by contrast seem committed to a now discredited Steinbrenner-style approach in the belief that spending the most money brings you the most wins. Go ask the Phillies, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets about that.” 
We all know that since '88, the Dodgers haven’t been to the World Series, but the Giants really didn’t have much to brag about during the Bonds years.  Yes, they were in contention, but of the 16 years Bonds was a Giant, his team only made the post season four times.  The Dodgers during that same period, considered to be lean years to the organization, had five post season appearances.  Neither team won a Championship.
JoMammy has a point with regards to the Giants recent success, but what they did was essentially take a page from the 1960-80s Dodgers.  A team built on great pitching and stability.  So it took them 55 years to figure things out.
As far as the Dodgers taking a “discredited Steinbrenner approach.”  I guess time will tell.  The Yankees certainly can’t be considered to have a discredited system in place having won five World Series Championships over the last 16 years with 16 post-season appearances out of the last 17 years.  I’ll take that “discredited approach” anytime.  
Yankees celebrate 1999 World Series win (phtoo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s time for people like JoMammy to face facts.  The Dodgers spending scares them.  It scares them a lot because they know the team 389 miles south is going to continually be in pennant contention.
“Erdogmus” made this comment: “Perhaps it's a generational thing, but the only time I remember the Dodgers being "number 1" in my lifetime was in 1988. They haven't threatened anything since then.”  
Well let’s look at the years the Dodgers were in contention since the ’88 Championship.  1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012.  These were all years that the Dodgers were perennial contenders.  Those in bold face represented playoff appearances with the exception of the ’94 strike year where the Dodgers were in first place when the strike hit.  Again, these are considered the Dodgers “lean” years, and still, they are right there with the Giants in contention.
But we are considered the lessor franchise  by Skypanther who said “The Giants have always been a better franchise than the Dodgers, just as San Francisco will always be greater than her embarrassing younger sibling, Los Angeles.“ 
A history lesson is probably in order for Skypanther as it took the coaxing of Walter O’Malley to convince the “superior older sibling” Giants to move to San Francisco instead of Minneapolis, as that was where Giant owner Horace Stoneham was going to move his team until Walter O. convinced him otherwise.  And it was Walter’s son Peter that stood up and vehemently opposed the Giants potential move to St. Petersburg, FL after the 1992 season, when the move was pretty much a done deal.  Truth is, Skypanther should be thanking his lucky stars that an owner such Peter O’Malley stood up and insisted that the Giants not be allowed to move out of California.  And “SkyPanth” if you don’t believe so, ask the current Giant ownership group in place, they know.  Larry Baer said so when the Dodger sale went through in May.  He admitted that Peter O’Malley was a hero to SF Giant fans for that reason alone.
I don’t disagree with all Gint faithful though, “SF_2U” wrote the following: “Being owned by Fox was the biggest baseball sin the Dodgers have made in their history. It will take a long time to wash the stink off from that debacle.” 
Well, we all agree that the Fox debacle was awful for the franchise.  The Piazza deal started things off and then things got even worse.  Not sure why a Giant fan would complain about that though.   Though I do believe it was probably politically motivated as anything labeled "Fox" in this town might as well be given a skull and cross bones stamp across the forehead.  The truth is, Frank and Jamie McCourt were much more damaging to the franchise than News Corp. as they floundered away millions of dollars that the fans spent on the team to live an exorbitant and luxurious life style.   The mediocrity during the Fox regime was a God-send to the Giants and they should have been perfectly happy with the Dodgers development during those years.

Then there was this from "Zaglossus:  ”The Dodgers will be back. L.A. is just too much of a goldmine.”   It was so appropriately responded to by another Giant fan, "SF Chilupa" : “LA is a goldmine for narcissists, airheads and illegals. Baseball is way down the list”
Welcome to my life.  We Northern California Dodger fans put up such statements all 365 days a year.  Gotta love this place.  


  1. Evan - if I get into a debate I want you on my team. Difficult to rebut those SF arguments but you did very well. Must be a bit nauseous to have to listen to it full time.

    I understand they would salivate at any problems the Dodgers had/have as that happens in any rivalry. The Dodger-Giant rivalry has deep roots.

    In their eyes anything less than a WS championship is a failure. I do understand that as I revel any time the Yankees with the highest payroll goes down which they have eleven times in the last twelve years. My natural rivalry is still the Dodgers and Yankees going back to the fifties.

    I think the Dodgers have made an opening salvo in a big way but plan B is to built a consistent winner with a refurbished farm system, adding younger free agents and returning to astute trades for younger players.

    Good luck with SF fans. There is not one Giant fan here than I know. Still some Yankees and Red Sox, mostly Jays, and a few Dodgers.

  2. Thanks for the comments Harold. Every time I post an anti-Giant post, I usually regret it because I think I inundate the blog with too many of them. I'm hoping this Dodger club is the beginning of a long run of winners. It should be. Everything points towards that, but you never know how injuries will play out and if a team chemistry develops that develops into a winning formula. A redevelopment of foreign recruiting in the Caribbean and Asia, the restructuring of the farm are good starts. It's time to really get excited as Dodger fans.